I need to vent.
My boyfriend and I have been living in a 3-bedroom house with two roommates. Late last month they apparently found a good place to live for them, and told us a few days later. Our rental lease is month-to-month with 30 days notice required. They told us a few days before we would have to submit 30 day notice, which gave us a very short window to try and find replacement roommates. Obviously that didn’t work, so we submitted our 30 day notice and immediately started home-hunting.
Thats a shitty enough situation to deserve a rant thread on its own, but what I’m really here to rant about is how much it FUCKING SUCKS to try to find a home. In my county (San Luis Obispo), there’s something of a housing crisis going on, so rent is very expensive and renters have the pick of the litter. 90% of rental properties are rented by property management companies, and they are extremely picky about their tenants.
Most companies require a good credit score, 3x income, 5 years minimum positive rental history, no evictions, no criminal convictions. We are fine for income, we pull down 6k+ per year as well as some school financial aid for my boyfriend, *and* his school pays for his rent. Our budget is realistically $1500/month and we want a 1 or 2 bedroom home. However, I have bad credit due to having gone to the emergency room once a couple years ago and being unable to pay my bill. I’ve been working on that for the past few months but it hasn’t affected my credit score yet. My boyfriend has no credit, and has had a credit card for the past couple months, but it hasn’t given him a credit score yet. That makes us unrentable. We cannot qualify for an apartment. We also only have 3 years of positive rental experience and he has an eviction on record due to his previous previous previous landlord was a sex pervert that made advances towards him and when rejected raised rent so high that it was impossible for him to afford.
Essentially that means that we can’t rent from 90% of the properties in this county. Of the remaining ones, we just aren’t that attractive as renters. There’s maybe one or two possibilities a week, and I message them all. One was very likely but I just today found out we barely didn’t make the grade. It’s stsrting to feel very hopeless. We’re trying all possible options but I just don’t know what will happen and I needed to get that off my chest.
any advice is welcome
I really don't know how things are in your country, but around where I live it can be similar. Renters only want the most reliable tenants who pay their rent without fuss and aren't likely to leave at the drop of a hat. From their point of view, it's the best thing for them, rather than having people squat on their property for nothing or leave the place a terrible mess and vanish in the night. Happened to my family with a spare house we ended up with as part of a bankruptcy proceeding; the tenant left the place absolutely trashed. Can't imagine the paranoia a renter that actually rents stuff out on the regular would feel for that sort of thing.
Around where I live there's a few other options, at least in the short term: there's "long term stay hotels" which are basically what they sound like. It's a large hotel with larger than normal hotel rooms with very, very tiny kitchens that have very low requirements for entry. There's leasing, which has it's own troubles, but can sometimes be actually a little EASIER to get into than renting based on the specifics of the contract and how reliable the income is that you have to work with. There's also the option to lease something like a camper, but that's really, really expensive and you can't fit those things anywhere, even the trailer-hitch variety, in a city.
All I can say, not knowing how things are out where you live, is good luck!
SLO is a college town in the middle of the California coast. You're either wealthy, or came from a wealthy family, to live there. I spent 6 days there on a business trip and it's a really nice place, but Trek isn't exaggerating when he said his budget is $1,500/mo - that's probably what it would cost to rent a master bedroom in a nice house.
You’re a little bit overestimating the cost of rooms. These days it’s around here:
one bedrooms: 1200-1800
two bedrooms: 1500-2000
also the weather thing is kinda right. It’s certainly true for SLO city. Atascadero, Paso Robles, Morro Bay, Santa Margarita, all those smaller towns have a spread of wealth brackets, mostly upper though, but us peons are common enough. Thing is any housing that is cheap cheap gets snatched up very quickly.
While friend or family would make things much easier, our real saviors are independent renters. Guys who own a duplex, or a condo, or a granny unit, and rent it directly themselves without involving an agency. Basically I’m contacting everything in our budget that looks like it’s not an agency.
Also i reran the math, at our new income level we can actually afford 2,000/mo fairly easily, which could get us a 3-bedroom home from an agency, or some 2-bedroom apartments.
Is adding cosigners to the lease a possibility? At my last place, my roommate (the master tenant—the rest of us were subletters) added several of his adult relatives to the lease as cosigners. Otherwise he for sure would not have been able to lease.
If that's not an option then like someone else said, looking for a room in an existing house is not a bad bet. This will most likely make you a subletter so you can bypass the landlord step.
Most properties do not accept co-signers. We don’t really have anyone to co-sign even if they did. My parents have bad credit thanks to some dire straits last year, and my BF’s parents aren’t really a factor in his life.
rooms in existing homes are possible but difficult. Most people don’t want to have two people in one bedroom in their house, and when they learn it’s two guys even less say yes.
I guess my housing experiences are different from yours. Here in SF a lot of people do room-in-a-house (me one of them) and I’ve seen plenty of ads that welcome couples, although typically at a slightly higher rate than a single. Best of luck to you truly.
I am in the same situation as you OP. I have very poor credit as a result of living with my family and having our water bill get behind due to a toilet leak, the water company wouldn't adjust our bill after the leak so I took that debt in your name. I had the good fortune of finding a rent-by-owner and things were good for a time but disaster struck after a hurricane made the property require repairs and I was forced to leave. I'm now living in a towable camper with my gf and my cat, the camper was lent to me by my gf's uncle as he understands how ducked housing is and feels sympathetic.
I think my only hope is to move further inland. In my part of Florida the situation is absolutely fucking miserable, we just got hit by a cat-5 hurricane in a mostly low income area surrounded by higher income areas, much of the lower income people are forced to move away because they can't afford the higher income areas that didn't get demolished and the places that are being restored are coming back on the market with rents several hundred bucks higher than before the storm.
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